Tel: 630.960.5060
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  1. Are your Fire Hoses Compliant with NFPA?

    October 31, 2017 by Total Fire and Safety

    All fire safety equipment is subject to rigorous standards for safety and reliability, and fire hoses—the subject of NFPA 1962—are no exception. Despite looking like a relatively simple device, a fire hose is one of the most important lines of defense in firefighting. NFPA 1962 is an important revised standard for fire hoses; an outline which ensures that all hoses and their components will perform safely and as expected. At Total Fire and Safety, we take pride in ensuring that every fire hose meets all safety specifications.

    NFPA 1962 Fire Hose Pre-Inspection

    Before the inspection begins, we ensure the hose is easily accessible in all directions, and that there is a clear path to it. If the time comes to use a hose, there will be no time to clear obstructions. After this, we remove the cover from the hose and inspect the nozzle first, ensuring it opens and closes freely.

    NFPA 1962 Inspection

    First, we unravel the hose by the nozzle and find the tags and markings which indicate such information as the hose’s manufacture date and when it was last inspected. Once the hose is unraveled, we perform a visual inspection of the hose, inside and out, looking for any signs of wear or damage. This can be anything from cuts, to frays, to dry rotting, to contamination by a foreign substance. According to NFPA 1962, if there is any issue with the hose, we ensure it is either hydro tested or replaced. We also check the hose to ensure it is completely dry, inside and out. If we find evidence of water, we perform a hydro test to verify the hose is still up to code.

    NFPA 1962 Post-Inspection

    Once the inspection is complete, we carefully re-rack it to ensure it does not crack, fray, or wear prematurely over time. We also reconnect the hose to the standpipe and close the nozzle. We conclude the inspection by replacing the cover around the hose and documenting our procedure by placing an inspection tag around the standpipe.

    At Total Fire and Safety, our inspectors are fully trained and up-to-date in all safety regulations—including NFPA 1962—to ensure your facility is safe and up to code. If you have any questions about your own facility’s fire preparedness, or if you are due for an inspection, don’t hesitate to contact us.


  2. What is Fire Extinguisher Maintenance?

    September 4, 2017 by Total Fire and Safety

    Walk into any building and you’re sure to see a fire extinguisher hanging somewhere on a wall, and although it doesn’t look it, that extinguisher requires maintenance. It does more than just sit idly until a dire situation calls for its immediate use. Most people overlook these crucial pieces of safety equipment—often to the point of not even knowing anything about it. Think about the fire extinguisher in your home or office—do you know if it is fully charged? Do you know if you will be able to depend on it to successfully extinguish a flame if the need arises?

    This is why the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requires that that all portable fire extinguishers be inspected on a monthly basis (NFPA 10, Section 6.2.1) and maintained by a licensed fire protection company on an annual basis. (NFPA 10, Section 6.3.1)

    We take fire extinguisher maintenance seriously at Total Fire and Safety, and perform rigorous inspections of fire safety equipment, including our 12-point portable fire extinguisher service check. People often ask us what goes into inspecting a fire extinguisher, so we’ve decided to share our technicians’ exhaustive process:

    An inspection begins the moment we walk inside the door. At this point we already have all our tools and materials in hand to perform a proper inspection of the facility. To begin our process of fire extinguisher maintenance, we walk throughout the facility, ensuring all fire extinguishers are properly located and easily accessible. If there is not a clear path to an extinguisher, we may ask the customer to move any obstructions (We are not able to move any obstructions ourselves due to liability reasons).

    We check that the extinguisher is charged and ensure it is the correct type for your facility’s hazards. For example, a kitchen requires a different type of extinguisher (or even a fire suppression system) than a server room. We verify that it will work for the type of fire which may occur in that area. In addition, we check the gauge and carefully weigh the extinguisher to ensure its pressure is in the proper range.

    We perform a visual inspection and check such data as manufacture date and past fire extinguisher maintenance. We look for any signs of damage or any other reasons the extinguisher may need to be removed from service. We also check to see if maintenance is due. In some cases, extinguishers that have been dented have been tested and returned to service. We look for any markings to confirm this. One key aspect of proper fire extinguisher maintenance is communication between inspectors. All relevant information about the fire extinguisher’s maintenance history should be legible, so that any future inspectors know what we know.

    We inspect and test the extinguisher’s hardware, such as the hose, pin, handle, and lever. We remove the hose from the extinguisher and ensure it is not clogged or damaged. If so, we attempt to remove the clog. If we cannot fully clear the hose or if it is damaged, we replace the hose entirely. We also ensure the pin, handle, and lever are not bent or damaged in any other way.

    Finally, we check the bracket, clean the extinguisher, and place a new inspection tag on it. . Before hanging the extinguisher back up, we ensure the mounting bracket is the correct type for the extinguisher, and that it’s not damaged or incorrectly installed. We then wipe off any dirt, grime, etc., and make sure the gauge is legible. Our last step is to return the extinguisher to the bracket and apply a new inspection tag with the date we performed the inspection and the extinguisher type punched into it.

    While fire extinguisher maintenance is a rather straightforward procedure, it is crucial that it is performed diligently and properly, as all these devices may be counted on to save lives at a moment’s notice. We strongly recommend that everyone’s fire extinguishers be inspected on a routine basis by qualified professionals. If you have any questions about the condition of your fire safety equipment, or if your facility is due for an inspection, please contact us at 630.960.5060.


  3. Total Fire & Safety Tees it Up!

    August 1, 2017 by Total Fire and Safety

    Thank you to our client, Discount Tire, who chose a beautiful day for their recent annual golf outing. It was held July 27 at the lovely Tamarack Golf Course in Naperville, Illinois. This was the third consecutive year we participated, sending a fearless foursome to the golf outing and we were as always, happy to support our client.

    This year, we even sponsored a hole with handsome, environmentally appropriate signage to add to the festivities.

    The foursome representing Total Fire & Safety came from varied key service areas of the company.  Pictured here are some of our finest employee golfers! From left to right, Jason Schroeder, Vice President; Jason LeGrand, Business Development;  Nick Ingoglia, Fire Division Manager and Chris Burroughs, Dispatch Coordinator.

     

    Were it not for the tournament, would these four fire safety men be on the golf course? Golf courses are not typically a fire risk, but fire has been known to destroy the maintenance buildings and club houses that sit adjacent to them. At Total Fire & Safety, our services protect many recreational venues in Chicagoland, Wisconsin and Indiana. And that’s important because such fires break out more often than you think.

    In fact, this past May, a Texas and Ohio golf course building were both destroyed from fire.

    In Brownsville, Texas, the clubhouse at Valley International Country Club had a blaze on May 13, which most likely began in the kitchen area.  Although nobody was hurt, the beautiful venue, including the original two-story clubhouse built in 1910, was ruined. The fire was fueled by a “built-up roof” which was heavier and held the heat more easily as the blaze raged for 12 hours.

    Just a few days earlier, fire had destroyed a maintenance shed at the Carlisle Golf Course in Grafton, Ohio. The fire broke out after midnight on May 11 from an unknown cause, but arson is not suspected. The fire department was able to keep the fire from spreading to a nearby residence, but in this case, their challenge was the water source. Since the course was not close to fire hydrants, they had to set up a water shuttle to bring water to the blaze.

    It just goes to show how the need for fire safety is everywhere, even in the places we least expect.  At Total Fire & Safety, we’re proud to support our clients and keep our recreational areas, as well as our workplace, as safe as possible. If we can help you with your commercial fire protection, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 630-960-5060.


  4. Five Questions to Ask to Assess Your First Aid Requirement for Workplace

    April 19, 2017 by Total Fire and Safety

    We cannot overstate the importance of first aid requirement for the workplace. If you read through the OSHA requirements for first aid kits and first aid training, and the ANSI minimum first aid equipment for businesses, you may notice that a lot of the details are left up to the business owner. That is because every business is different, and will have different risks depending on the equipment involved in the business. A simple office space might have a small, basic first aid kit, while a car mechanic would probably need a much more complex one. Here are five steps to help guide you through the process of determining what first aid kit and training your business and your employees need.

     

    1. What are the most common injuries in your industry? Think about the equipment involved with your industry, and what kind of accidents can happen with that equipment. Make sure you satisfy the first aid requirement for workplace accidents to handle the most probable injuries within your specific business.

     

    3. How close are you to the nearest hospital or medical center? In the event of an emergency, how long would it be until help arrived? If your business is in a remote location, you might need extra first aid materials to handle an emergency for a longer length of time.

     

    4. How many employees do you have? Make sure there are enough first aid kits to handle an emergency where multiple people are injured. The more employees you have, the more first aid kits you should have.

     

    5. Consider the layout of your workplace. Make first aid kits easy to get to, and easy to see. They must be clearly labeled, and all employees should know where they are. Also make sure that the first aid kits are accessible in the areas which are most prone to accidents, such as the kitchen in a restaurant.

     

    There are a lot of options for both first aid kits and training. Make sure to think about restocking first aid kits and offering training to new employees. First aid requirements for workplace accidents can include portable kits or wall mounted kits, designed for indoor or outdoor use. For first aid training programs, make sure you go with a quality program that will teach your employees how to handle emergencies that are most likely to occur in your workplace. Cover the basics, and go beyond, to keep your employees healthy and safe.

     

    If you have questions or concerns about first aid kit or training compliance, Total Fire and Safety is you one-stop source for all fire safety and first aid needs. Feel free to contact us at 630-960-5060.

     


  5. The Fire Alarm Technician: Not All Superheroes Wear Capes!

    September 20, 2016 by Total Fire and Safety

    Since they don’t wear a cape or colorful tights, to the untrained eye the fire alarm technician is just the guy who comes in to check the safety of your fire equipment. But in reality, the fire alarm technicians at Total Fire & Safety are specialized employees who actually end up saving lives by making sure your equipment functions properly in an emergency situation at your commercial building!
    Yet these humble heroes walking among us in a simple Total Fire & Safety uniforms often go unappreciated because people don’t understand the special powers they possess and bring into play on a daily basis. For example, all Total Fire & Safety fire alarm technicians…

    1. Battle the forces of evil at a moment’s notice! When the call comes, the fire alarm technicians jump in their “Total Firemobile” and rush bravely in to battle the villain, whether it’s a malfunctioning backflow problem or a damaged sprinkler system. They soundly thwart the forces of equipment failure by repairing and replacing the critical systems, always emerging victorious. While Chicagoland sleeps, the Total Fire & Safety technician is on the job, throughout greater Chicagoland, lndiana and lower Wisconsin.  

    2. Excel at searching out the right clues to every puzzle. The crafty fire alarm technician can decode the secret language and uncover the valuable clues in blueprints, diagrams, specifications, schematics and operational/product manuals to find the information that saves the day and restores equipment to its proper functionality. It’s all in a day’s work for the fire alarm technician!

    3. Protect their customers and save the day. The Total Fire & Safety fire alarm technician deals directly with our customers, listening to their needs and providing the best, safest solutions for their situation. With professionalism and skill, they communicate with headquarters to make sure all is well for their customer, humbly accepting a mere humble thanks for their efforts.

    4. Go wherever the wind takes them…even overnight. The life of a fire alarm technician is filled with adventure on the road, going where they are called and serving willingly. Total Fire & Safety fire alarm technicians are flexible enough to travel overnight in order to perform inspections and repairs for clients that are not so close by. That’s what all heroes do!

    Bravery, trustworthiness and competence are all marks of the highly trained fire alarm technicans at Total Fire & Safety. Do you have what it takes? We are always looking for skilled individuals to join our force of heroes. Those who qualify can apply at apply at Total Fire & Safety for a distinguished career as well as competitive compensation and benefits such as health and dental and a position in a growing company with room for advancement. Contact Total Fire & Safety today about opportunities and learn how being an everyday hero with us can lead to exciting opportunities to do good in the world!

     


  6. Total Fire & Safety at Navy Pier!

    November 18, 2015 by Total Fire and Safety

    The Total Fire & Safety team is on the scene today at the 2015 Chicagoland Cooperator’s Condo, HOA, Co-Op and Apt. Expo at Navy Pier in Chicago. Pictured here at the TFS booth are (from left to right) Jeff Buff, (Customer Service Representative), Randy Donka (Outside Sales Representative), and Marc Spinder, (Outside Sales Representative).
    The show brings together thousands of board and association members, property managers, homeowners and apartment building owners to meet, attend educational seminars and get their questions answered.

    For Total Fire & Safety, this is a chance to showcase our various fire safety and first aid solutions. If you’re in the downtown area, join us today at Navy Pier! Free admission and lots of other freebies inside!

    If we don’t see you there, contact us any time with your questions regarding fire safety. We’re here to help.


  7. Fighting Fire….with Sound?

    April 1, 2015 by Total Fire and Safety

    Imagine a fire extinguisher that sprays nothing….but sound. Could it really fight fires?

    Two engineering students, Viet Tran and Seth Robertson from George Mason University, were recently in the news for creating a blaze battler that uses sound to extinguish fires.

    Besides fighting a stovetop kitchen fire without creating a mess, an even better application that they envision would be tackling forest fires with the help of swarm robotics, or drones.  The two inventors hold a preliminary patent application for their invention. Maybe one day we’ll be offering “sound extinguishers” at Total Fire & Safety!

     

    Check out their Youtube video here…

    https://youtu.be/uPVQMZ4ikvM


  8. KIDDE FIRE EXTINGUISHER RECALLED!

    March 24, 2015 by Total Fire and Safety

    Do you have a Kidde fire extinguisher at home?

    The Kidde plastic valve disposable fire extinguisher has been recalled because of a faulty valve component that can cause failure to fully discharge when the lever is repeatedly pressed and released during a fire emergency. According to Kidde, about 4.6 million units in the U.S. and 175,000 in Canada have been sold with the faulty Zytel® black plastic valves. This affects 31 models of Kidde disposable fire extinguishers.

    Kidde has received 11 reports of the recalled fire extinguishers failing to discharge as expected, but no injuries have been reported.

     The recalled extinguishers are red, white or silver and are either ABC or BC rated.

    The ratings can be found to the right of the nameplate.  Manufacture dates included in the recall are July 23, 2013 through October 15, 2014. A 10-digit date code is stamped on the side of the cylinder, near the bottom. Digits five through nine represent the day and year of manufacture in DDDYY format. Date codes for recalled units manufactured in 2013 are XXXX 20413 X through XXXX 36513 X and 2014 are XXXX 00114 X through XXXX 28814 X.

    A nameplate affixed to the front of the fire extinguisher has one of the following model numbers: FC10BC, 1A 10BC, 1A 10BCW, 2A10BC, 5BC, 5BCW, FA10G, FA110, FA5B, FC10, FC110, FC5, FH/RESSP, FX10, FX10BC, FX10K, FX210, FX210R, FX210W, FX340GW, FX340SC, FX511, KFH Twin, M110 Twin, M5 Twin, Mariner 10,Mariner 110,Mariner 5,Mariner 5 G,RESSP,XL 5MR, XL 5MR.

    The extinguishers were sold at Home Depot, Menards, Walmart and other department, home and hardware stores nationwide, and online from August 2013 through November 2014 for between $18 and $65, and about $200.

     Consumers with the recalled fire extinguisher should immediately contact Kidde for a replacement!

    Their toll-free line is (855) 283-7991 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at www.kidde.com and click on Safety Notice for more information.

     


  9. Total Fire & Safety Helping Downers Grove with Wireless Launch

    September 26, 2014 by Total Fire and Safety

    Total Fire & Safety has completed its installation of the wireless fire alarm monitoring system at the Village Operations Center (VOC) for the Village of Downers Grove.  By now, most Downers Grove businesses have received a letter like the one shown below, informing them of the new system and encouraging them to come on board with wireless fire alarm monitoring. The benefits of wireless fire alarm monitoring are many and far outweigh the increased cost of monitoring services. For businesses, the biggest cost saving is the elimination of land lines that can amount to a 70% cost reduction annually in monitoring related service fees.


    OTHER FIRE PROTECTION PROVIDERS…..

    AES 7744/7788F Transmitter

    As a business in Downers Grove, you can contract with any fire protection services provider, however their equipment must be in compliance with the VOC and programmed through Total Fire & Safety. Total Fire & Safety is maintaining the wireless network for the Village, and is therefore in charge of making sure all radios and wireless equipment are programmed correctly and seamlessly connected to the VOC.

    The chosen radio unit for the businesses in Downers Grove is the model shown here, the AES Corporation 7744/7788F transmitter. Again, all transmitters, whether purchased through Total Fire & Safety, directly from AES,  or through your fire protection provider, must be programmed through Total Fire & Safety.

    Total Fire has already held information sessions with other area fire protection services to introduce the new system and review operating regulations and compliance issues with the VOC.    If you have a fire protection service provider OTHER than Total Fire & Safety, they should make sure they are in compliance with the VOC specifications and contact Total Fire & Safety for their programming needs.

    This is all discussed in the letter below, that they should have received recently from the Downer Grove VOC:

     

     

     

     

     

    If you have any questions concerning installation or programming, please contact Jeff Buff, Total Fire & Safety at (630) 960-5060 ext. 121 or click here to contact us and use the promo code DWG for a special introductory monitoring rate for Downers Grove businesses.  For any questions concerning permitting or procedures, please contact the Downers Grove Fire Prevention Bureau at (630) 434-5983.


  10. Downers Grove Gets Ready to Cut the Cord, with Help From Total Fire & Safety

    September 19, 2014 by Total Fire and Safety

    We have been very busy lately installing a new wireless fire alarm monitoring system for the Village of Downers Grove, IL. Total Fire & Safety was proud to be selected to install the upgrade, which will allow local businesses to connect wirelessly to the village operations center for more efficient, cost-effective service from their local fire department.

    Businesses will be able to cut the cord and “go wireless” in Downers Grove beginning October 1st!

    Downers Grove joins other local Chicagoland communities that recognize the savings and efficiency involved in upgrading to wireless fire alarm monitoring. Wireless systems are more reliable than phone lines in receiving fire alarm transmissions to the dispatch center, thereby reducing the amount of false alarms they receive.

    For most business owners, changing to a wireless alarm system will be an initial modest investment with an increase in monitoring fees from the village. However, businesses can save up to 70% on their monthly fire monitoring systems by disconnecting the two land lines they will no longer need with the wireless technology. More than 1,000 businesses in the village are now able to upgrade to a wireless system and start saving!

    If you are a business in Downers Grove interested in going wireless, hire the company that the Fire Department hired! Enjoy a special introductory monitoring price of $30/month by contacting Jeff Buff at Total Fire & Safety at 630.960.5060 ex. 121 or by submitting the contact form with the promo code DWG. You must also download the application for wireless connection from the Downers Grove website at www.downers.us/bus.

    We look forward to helping business owners in the Village of Downers Grove take advantage of this opportunity to upgrade to a safer, faster system! If you would like a free evaluation of your current fire monitoring services, also contact us at 630.960.5060.